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Joel on Software

Stack Overflow DevDays is Back!

by Joel Spolsky
Monday, June 27, 2011

[UPDATE - September 6th - Regrettably, DevDays had to be cancelled. See the announcement on the Stack Exchange Blog for details.]

Stack Overflow DevDays, the universe's best conference series for coders, is back, and it's bigger than ever!

Here's the idea behind DevDays. You're a developer. You'd love to learn all the latest hot new technologies. Things like DVCS, HTML 5, Node.js, CSS3, Hadoop, etc. The stuff the cool kids are all talking about on the playground while you're stuck in the basement somewhere grinding away on Java Enterprise Visual Basic.

The idea behind DevDays is a fast, high-bandwidth, fire hose tutorial on at least ten interesting concepts. We'll assume that you're a developer, you know what a loop is, but each tutorial starts at the ground level and gives you a whirlwind tour through a technology by showing you actual code. Every presenter launches an editor and writes code from scratch and shows you what it does. There are almost no prepared PowerPoint slides with ten bullet items each containing 10 words explaining the ROI benefits of some new technology. There are not even any PowerPoint slides with cats and pandas doing hilarious things, such as this one:

Yes, DevDays contains precisely NO funny pictures of cats. We might have Jon Skeet with a sock puppet, though:

(That was Jon Skeet and Tony the Pony from London DevDays 2009.)

What we have instead is some great presenters from the community who will write code and compile code and explain it all while you watch, and you'll come away knowing enough about each new technology to know what it's good for, what it's not so good at, how to do the basics, and how to learn more. Bottom line: it's the best possible way to spend two days and learn as much as you would learn in two years of reading Twitter.

We have FOUR, yes FOUR different DevDays conferences coming up this fall. Each one is its own production, and they're all going to be spectacular. If you came to DevDays last time, prepare to get blown away. This time everything is DOUBLE. Two days instead of one. Better food and coffee. Better locations. Bigger screens to make it easier to follow along. Sydney DevDays 2011Lots of social activities. And, for the first time ever, we'll be visiting one city in Australia (shown at right), for an antipodean increase of infinity percent.

Anyway, registration is now open. The schedule is:

There are two! special! bonuses! you should know about before you choose a city:

  1. In San Francisco, the day after the conference (October 14), Server Fault is holding a one-day High Scalability conference. You may want to go to both for a full three days of amazing amazingness... if you think your heart can handle the excitement.
  2. In Washington, the day before the conference (December 14), we're have a big open source hackathon. The entire Stack Exchange dev team will be on hand and it'll be a lot of fun.

So, go, sign up now. You can save $100 using discount code JOELONSOFTWARE.


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, insanely simple project management, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracker designed to help great teams develop brilliant software, and Kiln, which simplifies source control. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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